Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sweet Disorder (Lively St. Lemeston Book 1)” as Want to Read:
Sweet Disorder (Lively St. Lemeston Book 1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sweet Disorder

(Lively St. Lemeston #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,281 ratings  ·  253 reviews
Campaigning has never been sweeter...

Prickly newspaperman’s widow Phoebe Sparks has vowed never to marry again. Unfortunately, the election in Lively St. Lemeston is hotly contested, and the little town’s charter gives Phoebe the right to make her husband a voter—if she had one.

The Honorable Nicholas Dymond has vowed never to get involved in his family's aristocratic politicking
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published June 17th 2017 (first published March 18th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,281 ratings  ·  253 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sweet Disorder (Lively St. Lemeston Book 1)
*Not so much a book review as me blathering about my favorite themes and passages from the book

You all did not lead me astray! This was really good, there were some pacing problems in the beginning for me, I like my main couple to be more centric and interacting with one another, but the second half implemented that more and very well. This author's style felt like a cross between Courtney Milan (use of underlining themes and heroines) and Grace Burrowes (full framework of world and secon
Aww, nothing like escaping the horrors of an upcoming presidential election with a good ye' old bodice-ripper, huh?

Uh, no.

When I think of Regency-era romance, I usually think of balls, the ton, the London season, and lots of puffy dresses. This was not that kind of book. It was about politics, the working class, and more politics.

It seems that politics were dirty even back then. Who'd have guessed? I thought everyone was honest and noble and trustworthy in the olden days....right?

Aww, nothing like escaping the horrors of an upcoming presidential election with a good ye' old bodice-ripper, huh?

Uh, no.

When I think of Regency-era romance, I usually think of balls, the ton, the London season, and lots of puffy dresses. This was not that kind of book. It was about politics, the working class, and more politics.

It seems that politics were dirty even back then. Who'd have guessed? I thought everyone was honest and noble and trustworthy in the olden days....right?

The weather is fine in my world!

So there are two political parties: the Torys and the Whigs. I remember taking things very literally in history class as a child and thinking of the Whigs as these guys:

WTF England? Let it go already!

These two parties are cut-throat and will do anything to get votes. Anything. And, in this case it means playing matchmaker for a widow because she inherited her husband's vote. They start pimping out some dudes that will marry her and take her vote and use it for their party's nominee. They bribe the guys and then use the widow's poverty and problems to strong-arm her into a marriage.

Bribes? Strong-arm tactics? Pimping? Coercion? In politics? Color me shocked!

So, our bachelorette is dating a couple of guys from opposing parties to try and decide who can make her the best deal and also annoy her the least. Good luck with that! Men are annoying. Oops, did I say that out loud? I meant, men are annoying. Seriously, how hard is it to throw your dirty socks in the laundry basket?

The widow ends up falling for one of the candidate's brother who is the only guy she can't have. There were a lot of rules about who you were allowed to love back then. Thank goodness that has changed!

Well played, boys. Well played.

The story is different, and I probably would have liked it more if ... well, I'm not sure. But, it was okay. And, I think others might like it more. It was a matter of "it's not you, it's me" for this book.

Oh, and for you etymologists out there - the vocabulary in this book is Some SAT words even. Maybe I should be reading more of this kind of thing.
K.J. Charles
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency, politics, het
This was very interesting. A Regency set amid politics and the middle class, with a widow who finds herself in need of a husband, the grossly corrupt politics and vote buying of the time; a realistic attitude to how people had sex. The injured veteran is really, painfully injured; the heroine is actually fat, not the usual size 10 masquerading as fat, and the way the hero perceives her is wonderfully contrasted with the way other characters dismiss her. These are non-perfect people who are perfe ...more
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars, perfect, hr
I wish I could simply copy/paste the whole book as a review. It would certainly save me time and brain activity.

Anyone with a passion for books will know the feeling of a book hangover. With the last page read, a feeling of deflation settles in and sorrow for saying goodbye to characters I've come to love, a plot that kept me glued and a writing that made me re-read passages again and again because they were so beautifully put into words. Courtney Milan's books do that to me, Meredith Duran, Cecilia Grant and Sh
Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge. For more info about what this is, click here.

Well, reading this romance novel was a little bittersweet because SWEET DISORDER marks the completion of my 2017 romance reading challenge: or, my personal goal to read 50 different subgenres of romance, many of which I would never pick up otherwise, in an attempt to broaden my horizons.

SWEET DISORDER was my pick for the "BBW" (big beautiful woman) challenge, something I was not
Jacob Proffitt
Mar 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
At 13% in, I just can't. The backdrop of this is tawdry and what isn't tawdry feels like an assertiveness brochure for lonely overweight girls with an extra insert for how mean men are. Except for our hero, Nick, of course, because he's a sensitive war hero (with a limp!) who loves (even writes) poetry and uses Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage as a meditation piece when he's in pain (mental or physical, they're all the same to him). Plus, he has a thing for "the plump one" so you know he's extra-spec ...more
I've given this an A- at AAR, although it was < > this close to being an A:) 4.5 stars.

Sweet Disorder
sees the very welcome return to the publishing world of Rose Lerner, whose two previous novels, In for a Penny and A Lily Among Thorns I enjoyed very much.

This book, the first in a series set in the town of Lively St. Lemeston, presents us with a different take on the Regency Romance and paints a wonderful portrait of small-town life in early nineteenth century England. The hero is the son
Nov 03, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Fat heroine and a book that actually puts a plus-sized model on the cover? Wow. Sign me up immediately, please. Do want.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rose Lerner is always going to write about something totally unique and this book was no exception. Very well written as always. The reason I struggled with this one was because she skated a bit too close to the bone on how my relationship was with my sister and my relationship with my mother. I am not faulting LR for that, that is just how it happens sometime. Authors zero in on a situation that grinds right over your last nerve and that was how this book was at times. Other times the naughty t ...more
2.5 stars? I know more than I ever wanted about the ins and outs of small town election machinations anyway, so there's that.

It's drab. The only time they (or I) had any fun at all was during SexyTimes, which were, admittedly, delightful. The rest of the time the two leads are dealing with all kinds of baggage from their pasts, horrible mothers, burdensome siblings, and various assorted townspeople who all need a good smack--except Moon, the sweetmaker, he can stay.

The ra
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: Regency England

Its a battle between the Whigs and the Tories in the town of Lively St. Lemeston.
In Rose Lerner's first book "Sweet Disorder" it looks like to be a promising new series. War hero Nick Dymond returns to his family with a wound to his leg but most of all to his soul. But his family is consumed it seems with the current election in which his younger brother is a candidate. They even go so far as to get him to find a husband for widow Phoebe Sparks because in ord
Alexis Hall
This book makes me feel like this:

Elisabeth Lane and I discussed it over at the AAR blog fairly recently:

AJH: I should probably warn you, I’m going to be useless for this. I have literally nothing to say about this book that isn’t ‘omg I loved that’.

Elisabeth: Well, this is going to be a short review then since I felt much the same way. So…SQUEE. See you next month?

AJH: Maybe can just replace ourselves with a set of wildly joyous reaction gifs?

Elisabeth: Honestly, I think that’s a fabulou
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in a small town in the English countryside during the Regency period, we follow the politicking around the local election and how it affects the young widow Phoebe Sparks.

Phoebe is approached by both the Tory and Whig parties to marry and thus enfranchise whoever she marries to cast the deciding vote in the local election. While she's disinclined to marry at all, her circumstances suddenly change when her younger sister gets in trouble and she ends up having to consider it. Enter the Whig r
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Finally finished! This was a slower read than I am accustomed to, partly because I switched mid-book to a different book. This is not common for me, and my finally finishing had more to do with a need to be done with it than a desire to see the resolution come about.

- unusual setting - early 19th century England (not unusual), but the part of that world was struggling middle- and working-class for the most part, and the focus was an upcoming election. It was very interesti
For some very weird reason I seem to be the only one of my Goodreads friends who didn't love this book. I can't even pinpoint what I didn't like, because there are a number of very strong reasons for reading and enjoying this: the writing is excellent, the characters are interesting (she's actually from a working-class background, widowed, poor (but still independent), while he's nobility, so bonus points for originality on that), and the setting is not London for a chance, but some small town d ...more
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hawt-sex
GO AND READ THIS RIGHT NOW. Blimey, Rose Lerner can't half write. This is a romance set during an early nineteenth century election in a provincial English town. This sounds dull [not to me, because I am a historian turned lawyer, but it doesn't sound as if it would be everyone's bag]. It isn't dull, it's wonderful. The hero is an injured soldier. Injured heroes are my catnip. The heroine is a voluptuous (like, actually, not just as a euphemism for big tits) newspaper editor and author. GO AND R ...more
This was fine, but I shouldn't have picked it.

I'm throwing in the towel. I'm not cut out for regency romance.
Mandi Schreiner
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Favorite Quote: “You’re one of the somebodiest somebodies I ever met.”

Phoebe lives in Lively St. Lemeston, a town with an upcoming election. Phoebe is poor, living in two small, cramped attic rooms and barely supports herself by writing stories for young girls for a publication. Her husband printed the town’s newspaper but died, leaving Phoebe’s brother-in-law, Jack in charge. Phoebe has no desire to get married again, but she owns her late husband’s vote. A vote that is essentially
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars

My first Rose Lerner and I was quite happy with the story and the characters. I don't read very much regency at all, but I think that might change now that I know how great it can be. This series and this author come highly recommended and I'm glad I picked this book up. It was just what I needed to brighten up the dark days of winter.

4.25 Stars

I read Rose Lerner's debut historical romance, In For a Penny, years ago and enjoyed it. She has a refreshing voice that reminds me of Courtney Milan, Mary Balogh, and Carla Kelly. Sweet Disorder is the first book in this series which consists of stories that take place in the small British village of Lively St. Lemeston. In particular, this book focuses on an upcoming local election and provides the readers with a sweet (and spicy) love story between two people from different parts of society w
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Warning: Contains elections, confections, and a number of erections".
If you think that in our hyper political times courting of voters is intense and sometime over the top, welcome to Lively St. Lemston of 1812. Tories and Whigs, love and politics, lust and common sense, courage and cowardice drew battle lines and collide in this small West Sussex town on the eve of election. Every vote counts! Under the town charter, "every freeman of the town has the right to vote...The eldest daughter of a
Eva Müller
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency, romance
A part of me is going:
"You know this book wasn't perfect, right?"

And the other is going:

Because it was just so much fun.

Not only the main couple are adorable, I quickly fell in love with almost everybody. That was also thanks to the fact that there was no real black and white division into heroes and villains. (Sadly the exception are the main character's mothers, neither of them has has much of a redeeming quality. I can just about life with that as their acti
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
This is a wonderful cross-class romance that doesn't feel at all "cross-class." This is thanks to the ebullient, loving, funny, writer-heroine, the widow, Phoebe Sparks, who can easily ask and take pleasure for herself, but not love. The hero, Nick Dymond, a hero of the Peninsular Wars, is apathetic and purposeless when the novel opens. But in fulfilling his mission to find a husband for Phoebe, in order to ensure her vote for his brother's election in the riding of Lively St. Lemeston, he comes ...more
“Love wasn’t selfless, and it wasn’t selfish either. Love was equality. It was saying that another person’s self was just as important as yours, and expecting them to feel the same way.”

3.5 stars

My first Rose Lerner book and I was truly impressed. I loved that it was set in a small town, far removed from high society, and featured characters of lower status in realistic and not always rosy situations. This book felt like a breath of fresh air with its true to life world and all the area
Pam Faste aka Peejakers
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves romance, anyone who loves vulnerable heroes
Recommended to Pam by: Alexis Hall raved about it on Twitter!
This book, for me, was just an utter joy to read. Well, except for a few pages there, that had me sitting on my living room couch last night, literally sobbing over a brief setback near the end ;) But then, that's the comfort of reading genre romance, you know that ultimately it will all end well :)

Anyway, as I said in one of my status updates, I think Rose Lerner is my new, favorite het romance author. I'm recommending the hell out of this book & will definitely be reading more by this thi
Pamela Shropshire
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phoebe Sparks is a struggling middle-class widow who doesn't want to remarry. However, the Whigs and Tories are competing to find a husband for her, because her husband will be entitled to vote. The problem is, she finds herself drawn to the election agent for the Whigs, Nicholas Dymond. But he is a son of an Earl and not of her social class, so she knows she can never marry him. Then to make matters worse, her younger, unmarrried sister confesses that she's pregnant by a married man and Phoebe ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 stars. This is a hard book to rate. I liked that our characters were flawed and the world in this book wasn't black & white. I hate when some characters are portrayed as eeevil and our heroes are the only good people. Here we have two persons that are a little messed up by their pasts and also current circumstances. The people around them don't really appreciate them, and that's why I love that they found each other.

The heroine is not just a little plump, she really admits to being fat,
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a refreshing take on the regency romance genre. It was nice to read about ordinary, middle-class characters, which are often left entirely out of the genre. I also liked how the ending, while happy, wasn't some magical fairy-tale ending where all family troubles were solved with a group hug. Nick and Phoebe were both great characters and the conflicts to them getting together were organic to the plot. There was no 'I love him/her so much but I'm unworthy so we can never be together' wan ...more
Manda Collins
A charming, unusual, sexy romance set amid the world of Regency local elections. I especially appreciated the period detail about local newspapers and presses, since in my previous life I was a book history scholar. Also loved the pairing up of an aristocratic soldier with a firmly middle-class heroine. Lots of wonderful little touches that enriched the story. I am so grateful to Samhain for publishing Rose Lerner. Historical Romance readers--at least this one--have missed her!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Duke in Disguise (Regency Imposters, #2)
  • A Little Light Mischief (The Turner Series, #3.5)
  • A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family, #1)
  • The Rat-Catcher's Daughter (Lilywhite Boys, #0.5)
  • Hither, Page (Page & Sommers, #1)
  • Unmasked by the Marquess (Regency Imposters, #1)
  • Proper English
  • Her Every Wish (The Worth Saga #1.5)
  • Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure (The Worth Saga, #2.75)
  • Band Sinister
  • Hamilton's Battalion: A Trio of Romances
  • That Kind of Guy (Ravenswood, #3)
  • Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #2)
  • Spellbound (Magic in Manhattan, #1)
  • The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits, #1)
  • Unclaimed (Turner, #2)
  • Any Old Diamonds (Lilywhite Boys #1)
  • After the Wedding (The Worth Saga #2)
See similar books…
I discovered Georgette Heyer when I was thirteen, and wrote my first historical romance a few years later. My writing has improved since then, but my fascination with all things Regency hasn't changed. When not reading, writing, or researching, I enjoy cooking and marathoning old TV shows. I live in Philadelphia.

Sign up to be notified when my next book comes out!

FYI: I use th

Other books in the series

Lively St. Lemeston (3 books)
  • True Pretenses (Lively St. Lemeston Book 2)
  • Listen to the Moon (Lively St. Lemeston, #3)
“Love wasn’t selfless, and it wasn’t selfish either. Love was equality. It was saying that another person’s self was just as important as yours, and expecting them to feel the same way.” 5 likes
“It’s the worst sort of snobbery to condemn a book without reading it, merely because it’s popular.” 4 likes
More quotes…